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RECENT NEWS & NOTEWORTHY

Evan Levow Challenges Alcotest Before NJ Supreme Court

Evan Levow made headlines for his recent argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court to scrap the Alcotest breath testing machine.

In 2001, the Alcotest replaced the breathalyzer in New Jersey DWI cases.

Breathalyzer Test

Evan Levow and other counsel challenged the reliability of the Alcotest machine in 2008, in the landmark case before the New Jersey Supreme Court, State v Chun. At that time, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled the machine “generally scientifically reliable”, but ordered the state to make 9 modifications to the machine’s software to offset its technical shortcomings.

State officials never made the court–ordered modifications, despite a 5 year old court order telling them to.

Evan Levow argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on September 10, 2013, that the conditional reliability of the machine no longer remains. Levow questioned the validity of the state’s DWI convictions for this reason. “Alcotest is scientifically unreliable, because the state never made the changes.” Levow said. “Consequently the machine should no longer be used.”

In 2008, the court also ordered state officials to create a centralized, searchable state-wide database of Alcotest results that would be available to defendants and their attorneys. According to Levow, the database is not searchable and omits some test errors that could show machine malfunction. This is important information needed when defending a DWI arrest.

Mr. Levow also argued that since the current Alcotest machine has an algorithm that is not on a future version of the machine, this is a tacit admission that there is a problem with the current Alcotest machine.

Additionally, one of the 9 mandated software modifications pertained to women over the age of 60. This group is not capable of reaching the minimum 1.5 liters of breath volume. However, if they don’t blow 1.5 liters they can be charged with a refusal to blow. The 2008 ruling ordered the state to re-program the minimum to 1.2 liters for this group. “That hasn’t been done.” said Levow. “This means a woman who does not blow 1.5 liters can be unfairly charged with a refusal – a serious offense resulting in loss of license and other fines and surcharges.” Levow contended.

Evan Levow called for Alcotest to be retired and for the state to rely on observational evidence.

“Breath testing is trial by machine, “ Levow told the justices. “It’s imperative that the public has trust” in the technology being used.

News Articles:

N.J. needs to scrap its Alcotest devices, lawyers argue at state’s top court
The Star Ledger
September 10, 2013

New Jersey DWI Alcotest Breath Testing Challenged Before NJ Supreme Court
Digital Journal
September 10, 2013

DWI Attorney Evan Levow Critical of NJ Breath Testing Program After Supreme Court Ruling, Urges Arrestees to Re-Double Their Efforts to Protect Their Rights
Newsday
October 29, 2013

DWI Lawyer Evan levow Weighs in After NJ Supreme Court Decides on Alcohol Test Reliability
October 30, 2013

DWI Lawyer Evan Levow Says New Jersey State Needs to Find an Alternative to Unreliable Breath testing Alcotest Device
Newsday
October 31, 2013

On June 13, Evan Levow, Considered A Breath Testing Expert, Was The Lead Instructor At The Faulkner University Jones School Of Law’s “Advanced DUI Seminar”.

Mr. Levow lectured on the Draeger Alcotest 7110 breath testing machine. Topics covered included: Principles of infrared spectroscopy; theory and practice of breath testing; relationship to blood testing; probable and potential errors in breath testing. The Draeger 7110 and 9510 dual sensor breath test instruments – design, instrumentation, reliability and certainty of result.

Ocean County, NJ To Increase DWI / DUI Enforcement During Summer

DWI Checkpoint In Ccean County, NJWith the summer season fast approaching, Ocean County is preparing to increase its DWI enforcement efforts as people start heading to the shore.

The DWI enforcement program is being headed up by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in cooperation with the Sheriff’s Department and local law enforcement agencies.

According to an official statement, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato stated, “The tremendous added volume of summer shore traffic and all our area High Schools hosting Senior Proms calls for increased vigilance by law enforcement, and that will be the focus over the coming months to keep motorists safe. We ask that drivers do their part by driving responsibly and making smart choices behind the wheel every day of the year.”

About The Ocean County DWI Enforcement Program

The DWI enforcement program is intended to regionalize and supplement the DWI enforcement efforts of local police agencies throughout the county.

In addition to an increased number of patrolling vehicles in Ocean County, the program will include additional DWI checkpoints intended to deter intoxicated driving. Each DWI checkpoint will also have two Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE) to help detect drivers under the influence of drugs and other controlled substances.

These extra checkpoints are being funded in part by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

Be Careful On New Jersey Roads This Summer

While it is not against the law to operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol, it is illegal to drive after consuming too much alcohol. With DWI enforcement efforts ramping up at the Jersey Shore this summer, it is important to be aware of the legal limit (0.08% BAC) and remember to play it safe by using alternative methods of transportation if you believe that you are over the legal limit.

If you do happen to find yourself arrested on DWI charges in New Jersey, you can contact Levow DWI Law for a free consultation. Our experienced DUI defense lawyers have successfully represented many drivers arrested on suspicion of DWI in Ocean County and throughout the entire State of New Jersey. We can help you understand all of your legal options and work with you to create a strategic defense based on your specific circumstances.

US Supreme Court Reviews The Constitutionality Of Implied Consent Laws

The US Supreme Court is currently considering the constitutionality of implied consent laws after hearing several cases pertaining to these controversial DUI laws in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Implied Consent Laws: A Heavily Debated Topic In The US

US Supreme Court Decides Constitutionaliy of Drunk Driving Laws

All 50 US States have implied consent laws which require a driver to submit to certain chemical tests (breath, blood or urine) if lawfully arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

These chemical tests are used to estimate a driver’s level of intoxication by calculating their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). The results from these chemical tests can be used in a court of law to prosecute a driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Proponents of implied consent laws argue that these laws are necessary in order to catch and prosecute drunk drivers. But opponents argue that these laws are unconstitutional by fundamentally violating the Fourth Amendment which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.

What Happens If You Refuse A Chemical Test?

By refusing to submit to a chemical test, a driver faces minimum penalties which usually include a suspended driver’s license and can include additional penalties.

For example, the minimum mandatory sentence for refusing to submit to a chemical test in New Jersey is a seven month license revocation and a fine of between $300 – $500.

Are Implied Consent Laws Constitutional?

This is the big question…

Drivers and DWI defense attorneys throughout the country have been fighting these laws for decades, arguing that these laws are unconstitutional and violate an individual’s rights under the Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment.

After recently hearing cases involving implied consent laws in Minnesota and North Dakota, the U.S. Supreme Court is reconsidering the constitutionality of these laws throughout the nation.

Progress has already been made in some states which have decided to reverse implied consent laws.

For example, on February 26th, 2016, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Kansas’ implied consent law to be unconstitutional and reversed the law which had required drivers in Kansas to submit to chemical tests without a court-ordered warrant.

It is important to know that drivers in Kansas can still be required to submit to chemical tests after being arrested for DUI, but only if police obtain a warrant.

The US Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision about implied consent laws within the next few months.

DWI Attorney Evan M. Levow Named To 2017 New Jersey Super Lawyers List

This prestigious award is only granted to 5% of attorneys in New Jersey who exhibit excellence in their respective practice area and who make it through the rigorous Super Lawyers peer reviewed selection process.

Evan has now been named to the New Jersey Super Lawyers list for seven consecutive years (2010 – 2017).

Super Lawyers: A Recognition of Outstanding Professional Achievement

Super Lawyers is an independent legal rating service that is dedicated to finding and recognizing outstanding lawyers throughout the country.

Each year, Super Lawyers selects a list of lawyers in each state who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and have received notable peer-recognition.

In order to be eligible for inclusion in the Super Lawyers list, an attorney must first be nominated by peers in his or her specific field of law (Note: attorneys cannot nominate themselves).

The selection process also includes a phase of independent research carried out by the Super Lawyers research department.

The research team considers several different factors about a lawyer’s professional experience including past verdicts, settlements, scholarly contributions, awards, certifications and more.

For more information about the Super Lawyers selection process, click here.

Other Awards Received By Evan In The Past

In addition to being named to the 2017 Super Lawyers list, Evan Levow has received many other awards in the past for his achievements and contributions in the field of DWI law.

Specifically, Evan has been awarded as a:

  • Top Defense Attorney by Best Lawyers in America®
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Group
  • AV Preeminent® Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbel®

Visit Evan’s attorney profile to learn more about his experience and previous awards.

Choosing An Experienced Attorney To Represent Your Rights

Choosing a lawyer to represent your rights after a DWI arrest is a big decision that should be taken very seriously.

The award-winning attorneys at Levow DWI Law thoroughly understand New Jersey DWI law and are dedicated to defending the legal rights of their clients after a DWI arrest.